Thursday, December 21, 2006

Webb City Board opposes Whitmore-Smith nomination

Webb City R-7 Board of Education member Lucinda Copeland referred to State Board of Education appointee Donayle Whitmore-Smith as "the sweetheart' of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, during the board's December meeting.
The Friedman Foundation is a leading promoter of educational vouchers, a concept that was created in the 1950s by the late economist Milton Friedman.
The R-7 Board approved a resolution opposing Ms. Whitmore-Smith's appointment, according to the Dec. 15 Webb City Sentinel.
"I don't think that's good for the public education of Missouri," Ms. Copeland said. The board took the opposite approach to the Neosho R-5 Board of Education, which said it would wait to see how the legislators felt.
According to the Sentinel article, board member Ron Oney said the board needed to take action so Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, "knows how we feel."
The Senate will vote on the Whitmore-Smith nomination next month.
It was buried in the Wednesday Joplin Globe print edition, but the Carthage R-89 Board of Education also came out in opposition to Ms. Whitmore-Smith's nomination. According to Superintendent Gary Reed, Ms. Whitmore Smith "has virtually no background in public education, but has been linked to the founding of a private school in St. Louis based on Egyptian spiritualism." Her support of vouchers and tuition tax credits was also noted.

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